Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is ready to rule Iraq

Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr changed his decision to run for the upcoming parliamentary elections in October. The influential cleric reversed his decision last month to boycott the parliamentary elections scheduled for next October in Iraq, and announced that he would run for the presidency starting from One of my favourites. Al-Sadr led the Sairoon political alliance in the last 2018 elections and won 54 out of 329 seats.

The influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr also called for the expulsion of US forces from Iraq and the preservation of his logical brotherly relations with Iran, the visible leader of the Shiite branch of Islam in the Middle East. Its effect depends on its irritability. The 47-year-old Shiite cleric is at the head of the Sadrist movement, a diffuse bloc that includes in its orbit the Free Parliamentary Bloc. (which it considers its spiritual leader) to the militia (the theoretically disbanded Mahdi Army was reborn as peace brigades after the emergence of ISIS), through an extensive network of charitable organizations, covering the absence of the state among the disenfranchised Shiites. at the origin of its popularity.

Photo/Reuters – An Iraqi man receives his new electoral card at the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) center in Baghdad on January 20, 2021.

The son and nephew of two revered ayatollahs assassinated by Saddam, Al-Sadr exploited the prestige of his lineage and acted quickly after the dictatorship fell. He used the charitable networks established by his father to establish a system of social services, similar to that run by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, in one of the poorest Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, Saddam City. Its grateful residents renamed it Sadr City. He was also quick to appoint imams for mosques abandoned by clerics associated with the ousted regime, allowing him to expand his bases and recruit militiamen.

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It was precisely these help networks, established by his father during the years of international sanctions, that were the basis for the movement he launched after the US invasion and which had a special resonance among the most disadvantaged Shiites. His speeches, highly populist in accessible language, encouraged the anti-American sentiment engendered by the occupation of the country. (But without him he would not have been able to express himself freely; his father and uncle, both prominent ayatollahs, were assassinated by the dictator.)

Al-Sadr, the leader of the most representative political coalition in the Iraqi parliamentIt had been supporting the protests of the Iraqi people since October 2020, but after the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani at the hands of the United States, things changed. The North American giant carried out a drone operation in the vicinity of Baghdad airport against the commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (the elite of the Persian army), in which he and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the Shiite armed groups, participated in the Popular Mobilization Forces. An act that logically led to the outrage of the absolute Shiite community in Iraq.

Photo/Reuters - Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr: Al-Sadr said he would not participate in the parliamentary elections scheduled for October and would withdraw his support for any party.
Photo/Reuters – Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr: Al-Sadr said he would not participate in the parliamentary elections scheduled for October and would withdraw his support for any party.

after this episode, Al-Sadr called for a large demonstration against the presence of foreign forces in the country, but some of his aides accused regular demonstrators of trying to interrupt his march. The cleric then decided to withdraw his support for the mobilization and later asked his followers to help the police restore life to normal, resulting in dozens of wounded in Baghdad, and at least seven dead in the Shiite holy city of Najaf. southern Iraq.

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This question was one of the motives that led a large section of the population to demonstrate against the Iraqi leaders, who were accused of submitting to the Persian will and also of submitting, on the other hand, to the interests of the United States. in the region. An American country that has been disavowed by local citizens for its military presence in the region. His rejection of the American occupation, which made the difference between him and the rest of the Iraqi politicians who had recently returned from exile thanks to the intervention.
In recent years, Iraq has become a battleground as the rivalry between the United States and Iran has been reflected in its greatest defense. Relations between Washington and Badgad are not at their best. In fact, since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the presence of US troops in the country has not convinced the population or the country’s leaders.

Agence France-Presse / Ahmed Al-Rubaie - Iraqi demonstrators gather in Tahrir Square in the capital, Baghdad, on December 20, 2019 during the ongoing anti-government protests.
Agence France-Presse / Ahmed Al-Rubaie – Iraqi demonstrators gather in Tahrir Square in the capital, Baghdad, on December 20, 2019 during the ongoing anti-government protests.

currently, The United States has maintained about 2,500 troops since 2014 as part of an international coalition aimed at fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria. A presence that has become somewhat uncomfortable in recent years for the Baghdad government, as it has come under heavy pressure from the most radical Shiite militias who want the disappearance of American forces, and who have also missed the assassination of a senior Iranian general. Qassem Soleimani and the commander of the Iraqi militia Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis at Baghdad International Airport, demanded the Iraqi parliament two days later to pass a non-binding resolution demanding an end to the US military presence in Iraq.

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Two months before the legislative elections, the Iraqi prime minister hopes to regain some influence over the powerful pro-Iranian factions, which are very hostile to the American presence. The announcement of the withdrawal of combat forces from Iraqi territory represents a victory for the Prime Minister of Iraq This would satisfy the most extremist Shiite faction by paving the way for the parliamentary elections scheduled for October 10.

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